'A sense of humour lends you poise, it gives you balance and it helps you to bend without breaking'

(HH Pujya Gurudev Swami Chinmayananda)

Menoffagainarrhoea; Flagging on Friday

By the time the 22nd June dawned, I was beginning to feel the drain of a week of exertions way beyond my usual quotient. I had rather a disturbed night and that ought to have been my first clue. When Friday arrived I slept way past my normal hour and getting up proved tiring in itself. Clue number two.

Aitch had been waiting to hear from the sales girl a set time for the new car pick up, but things were not going according to plan. Eventually, it was narrowed down to the following Wednesday. This was potentially throwing off some of our schedules. That and my feeling as if hit side-on by a bus. I knew I needed a day of much less walking and where there would be shade relief from the surprising heat. I remarked more than once that I was being reminded of Australia!

We had a rethink about what we would cover next. For this day, we opted for a trip to Aldeburgh to visit the Red House. Now a museum, it was the home of Benjamin Britten and Peter Pears. It also holds many workshops and talks and is a place filled with life. A glimpse at that website will show you what is happening this summer.

Aitch was archivist there for a few months prior to its latest refurbishment in 2014. The current archivist gave a 20-minute talk at 1pm, which I greatly enjoyed. There was lots of beautiful art on display (not all to one's own taste, but quality none-the-less), the composer's loft was filled with creative atmosphere, the gardens flourishing and the whole place exuded homeliness and welcome. The interior of the home has been retained pretty much as it was once Peter Pears died (he lived there alone for some ten years after the death of Britten). You can have a listen to Pears singing with Britten at the piano on this link, where they give the classsical treatment to some folk songs.

The photo above is of the courtyard by which one enters the gallery space, the library, or through and up to the loft, which is straight ahead. The meeting space for the talk was in the room below that, through that white door. You can tell it was raging sun. I had to put sunglasses on the Fudge!

The croquet and games lawn had stuff laid out for children. There were benches dotted about under trees for one to sit and relish the surrounds.

Leaving here, Aitch went in search of another geocache. I tagged along, not wishing to miss out. It remained a DNF (did not find), but that's part of the fun.

From here we went to Snape Maltings for some lunch. Flashbacks for me, for I recalled my mother taking me to a piano recital there back in the 1970s (when I was studying for my fifth-grade music exam). It was a young pianist from Cyprus (via Russia). Barely six years my senior, Nicolas Economou was already making an international name for himself. I've never forgotten that shock of bouncy black hair, the thrill of the Rachmaninov Concerto #3, Chopin Preludes and a modern piece, which I cannot now name for you.

The didn't end here. There were some geocaches and churches to visit. They'll be here on Monday, combined with Saturday's small outing...

Menoffagainorrhoea; Then It Was Thursday

On the 21st of June, Aitch was supposed to be going to surrender her current vehicle and collect the new SUV she was treating herself to. The timing was tied into the shift of the girl who had sold her the new car, so our morning was spent domestically, (I did the rest of the grass mowing!), before heading in the afternoon first to the cinema. We saw "Solo; A Star Wars Story" and thoroughly enjoyed it.

When we emerged it was running close to rush hour out of Ipswich as we headed for Nacton and it was very slow going. We made it to the showroom in good time, though. However, there was to be a disappointment for my friend, as it turned out some paperwork had not been transacted. The exchange was thus delayed. Feeling a bit dejected, Aitch suggested we go 'to the seaside at Felixstowe' and cool down a bit. (The temperature that day had been in the high 20's centigrade, so a sea breeze would be welcome.) After our long time in traffic earlier, this part of the outing was quick and straightforward. We parked at the viewpoint near the major shipyards. Felixstowe is the UK's busiest container port, handling in the order of 40% of overall shipping traffic. This is in part due to having the depth to receive the larger container vessels, such as the Maersk Matz, which was alongside when we visited. (Mind you, Maersk isn't too happy with the port at the moment...)

I'm sure I don't need to remind you I have a thing for ships too. **cough**

We sat and watched the movements on the water for a while, and the containers being loaded onto the Matz, then I wandered along the shoreline to get some beauty shots; Aitch followed behind and I rejoined her as she hunted out three different geocaches. We then went and got fish and chips (my once a year break of sattva) and sat on the beach watching the waves lap, the gulls mooch and swat off the gazillions of pollen beetles which had been swarming with the warm weather. (They're the size of two pinheads and thankfully don't bite or sting.) I was interested in the strange buildings and fitments around the place. Turned out there is a fort here I didn't remember from childhood. We decided it would need to be visited later.

Menoffagainorrhoea; The Not-Menokakkuls

Whilst I get through reporting on the recent trip out of the Hutch, Wednesdays are going to showcase some lighter posts within that context. Today, some very pretty images all from Aitch's garden. Yes, the one I mowed. Little did I know, there was a secret photographer...

Okay, this one was actually just over the fence in Mrs R's garden - but they were very pretty poppies...

Do you see the critter?